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Thank you so much for joining us in praying the St. Joseph Novena!
If you’ve had any of your prayers answered throughout this novena, you can share those with us all below.
We will continue to pray for you! Please hold onto hope and do not give up if your prayers have not been answered — the Lord is near and you are never alone in your suffering. We are remembering you in our prayers.
The next novena we’ll pray together is through the intercession of a powerful patron saint.
Saint John Paul II called him the Guardian of the Redeemer. He’s also known as the Protector of the Church, the Terror of Demons, Hope of the Sick and Comfort of the Sorrowing. He has many titles and patronages!
We’re looking forward to praying with you! Because prayer is powerful and it does something — it changes things — even when we don’t feel it or see its effects, and God loves to work through our prayers. Here’s a short reflection from our Lenten Retreat about that:
About St. Joseph:
St. Joseph humbly accepted his role as guardian, husband and father in the Holy Family. That’s why St. Joseph’s intercession has been sought for centuries. St. Joseph was clearly very close to our Lord and his prayers are powerful!
Saint Frances of Rome was an Italian wife, mother, and mystic. She suffered from such intense social anxiety that she often remained bedridden.
Frances miraculously recovered after a vision of St. Alexis telling her that God would heal her and that her life would glorify God. She went on to become the founder of the Oblates of Mary, a lay Benedictine order for women who dedicated themselves to serving God and serving the poor.
As Jesuit priest Fr. Marcello Mastrilli lay on his deathbed after an accident, he had a vision of St. Francis Xavier.St. Francis Xavier spoke to him saying:
“All those who implore my help daily for nine consecutive days, from the fourth to the twelfth of March inclusive and worthily receive the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion on one of the nine days will experience my protection and may hope with entire assurance to obtain from God any Grace they ask that is for the good of their souls and the glory of God.”
Fr. Mastrilli then experienced a miraculous healing and went on to become a martyr for the faith.
St. Patrick first arrived in Ireland as a slave, captured from his home by pirates. During his time in the pagan country, his own Christian faith deepened.
Patrick’s faith grew so much that even after his miraculous escape, he eventually went back to Ireland willingly–this time as a missionary and Bishop. He built many churches throughout the country and converted thousands of people.
St. Alexander, or Alexander of Jerusalem, became the first bishop of Cappadocia.
Alexander faced two persecutions during his time as Bishop–first under the Emperor Severus and again during the reign of Emperor Decius–but he never gave up his faith. Instead of renouncing his belief, Alexander proclaimed it more publicly, choosing torture and death rather than denying God.
Despite many attempts to take his life, Alexander died in prison still holding fast to the faith.
On March 25th, nine months before Christmas, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation. On this very special feast we remember the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary and Mary’s yes to become the Mother of God.
On this feast we honor the great gift of the Incarnation, of God becoming man to bring about our salvation.
Here are three pieces of Advent for Lent from some of our retreat speakers:
1) How to respond in times of temptation
“We must never enter into a dialogue with the enemy. Rather, we must enter into a dialogue with the Word of God who desires to speak to us, who desires to lead us and guide us and sustain us and protect us…
In the Garden of Eden, we saw how Eve entered into a dialogue with the enemy and was defeated. Mary, on the other hand, entered into a dialogue with the Word of God and fulfilled God’s plan. She pondered on the angel’s greeting. That word ‘pondered’ in Greek is the word ‘dialogue.’
Jesus never entered into a dialogue with the enemy. In fact, he refuted his proposals by quoting and by claiming the Word of God. He said, “It is written man does not live on bread alone, but from every word that comes from the mouth of God.” You see, friends, God’s Word has to become flesh in our lives.” – Michelle Karen D’Silva
2) How to accept that you need God’s grace, constantly:
“The Lord invites you to come to Him whenever you feel weary and find life burdensome… In the Bible, there’s some variation of “Do not be afraid” at least 365 times, so at least once for every day of the year. Which is kind of consoling, because it means the Lord wants us to come to Him whenever we’re feeling weary and we find life burdensome.
But at the same time, it’s a humbling thing because it means we’re always freaking out, right? And the idea, here, that I want to convey is that we’re called to get used to that — We’re the ones that always need to receive, which would ordinarily be a cause for concern, except for the fact that God is real, God is our father, and He’s the one who always gives. And we can rely on that, we can count on that.
So we can come to Him all the time, and again, the idea is to make that kind of normative. We never graduate from being this open wound who’s in need of the salvific grace of God the Father.” — Fr. Eric Mah
3) Why persevering in prayer is worth the effort:
“Prayer is like sitting in the sun. Prayer is like the Lord’s sandpaper. Prayer is like the steady drip of water upon a rock. We might not always feel what’s happening, but over time, our Lord will smooth out our rough edges…” — Dr. Andrew Swafford
All around us, God and Satan wage war wanting to gain dominion over each human soul. Of course, we know that ultimate victory belongs to God, won through Christ’s death and resurrection and offered to all of the baptized.
However, the enemy wants to separate us from God using any means possible so we need to fight to avoid sin and remain faithful. Thankfully, we don’t have to do it alone. We have an army of saints and angels on our side, ready to help. Here are a few novenas for just that…
You can pray the Novena for Spiritual Warfare to seek deliverance from spiritual attacks or help against physical manifestations of demonic activity in your home. You can pray this powerful novena for yourself or for a loved one to help vanquish the darkness.
Saint Michael the Archangel is known for his role as protector of the church. The Book of Revelation describes the angelic battle against Satan, with Micahel mentioned by name as the leader of the heavenly army who cast the dragon out of heaven.
For centuries, the Church has called upon St. Michael for protection, especially from attacks from the enemy. Pray his novena here.
Fransican priest Saint Padre Pio had many supernatural experiences–from levitation, bilocation, reading souls, and even the stigmata; he would enjoy heavenly visions of our Lord and His angels, but he would also experience demonic attacks.
The Saint Benedict medal is a powerful sacramental used to protect the wearer from evil. The symbols and text on it relate to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, founder of the Benedictines and Father of Western Monasticism.
Like Saint Padre Pio, Saint Gemma Galgani experienced supernatural visions of Jesus, Mary, and her guardian angel from a young age. Her spiritual gift along with her great virtue also made her a target for spiritual assaults from Satan.
Habitual sin can feel like a significant and perpetual roadblock in our relationship with God; as we face temptation, we can easily feel hopeless in the struggle. Turn toward Jesus and rely on His grace in these moments.
We can always count on the Blessed Mother to come to us in our need. She loves and protects the Church founded by her Son.
Pope Pius V added this title of Our Lady to the Litany of Loreto after the Battle of Lepanto, in which the victory of the Christian Army over Islamic aggressors came through the intercession of Mary and the praying of the rosary. This victory also brought about the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Victory.
The title of Mary as the Mother of God plays a significant role in the Church’s Christological dogma. The Council of Ephesus proclaimed this title as dogma in 431 as a response to a widespread hersey that challenged Jesus’ dual nature; in doing so, it affirms Christ’ identity as both God and man.
In becoming the Mother of God, Mary also became the mother of the Church and of each one of us.
The devotion to Mary Undoer of Knots goes back as early as the second century when Saint Irenaeus wrote that, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by the obedience of Mary; what the virgin Eve bound by her unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosened by her faith.”
Just as Mary undid the knot of our first parents, she will continue to help us fix the problems that keep us from Christ. We can trust Mary with every “knot” in our life both big and small.
On December 8, the Church celebrates the special grace bestowed on Mary who was preserved from the stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception. God preemptively granted this grace from Christ’s passion and death in order for her to give her free and total ‘yes’ to become the Mother of God.
As Catholics, we can look to Mary in our journey toward heaven as the most perfect example of holiness and the life we should strive to live.
The ancient Marian title of Stella Maris or Star of the Sea reminds us of Mary’s role as a light guiding us toward her Son. She will assure our safe passage on our voyage home.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: “If the winds of temptation arise, if you are driven upon the rocks of tribulation…If you are tossed upon the waves…Should anger, or avarice, or fleshly desire violently assail the frail vessel of your soul, look to the star, call upon Mary.”
In 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. During her seven visits, she spoke on the power of the Rosary to bring peace to the world. The world still needs her timeless message and her powerful prayers.
Suggested Novena Start Date: May 4
Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary The Immaculate Heart of Mary, often depicted as a heart aflame and encircled with white roses, symbolizes her purity of body and soul, as well as her profound love of Christ and his Church. We can approach the Immaculate Heart and ask Mary for help to imitate her virtues and to deepen our interior life.
The Marian title of “Our Lady of Good Counsel” comes from a miraculous image currently housed in a 13th century Augustinian church outside of Rome.
Tradition holds that a beautiful painting of the Virgin and Child appeared on the wall of the parish church in Genazzano. Many believe it was miraculously transported from Scutari, Albania before it was invaded by the Ottomans.
Devotion to this title spread quickly, and the title was eventually added to the Litany of Loreto.
The title of and devotion to Our Lady of Good Remedy began with Saint John of Matha who gave his life to freeing Christian slaves from their Muslim captors. Saint John and his brothers turned to Mary to help them buy many Christians out of slavery and considered her the remedy to all their needs–both material and spiritual.
Anyone can turn to Mary in their need and she will always offer her help.
Mary appeared to a cloistered Conceptionist nun, Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Ecuador for 40 years. During these visits the Blessed Mother showed Mother Mariana the corruption and evil that would spread throughout the 20th Century, particularly in the Church. She encouraged the faithful to pray and do penance to combat these evils.
Our Lady of Good Success also asked that a statue be made in her honor to show her power to obtain mercy for sinners and to show her care and concern for all.
Suggested Novena Start Date: N/A
Our Lady of Guadalupe In December 1591, Mary appeared to Juan Diego in Guadalupe, Mexico. She asked Juan Diego to go to bring a message to the Archbishop that she wanted a chapel built in her honor on Tepeyac Hill.
Later to prove the legitimacy of her request, she arranged roses in Juan Diego’s tilma and again sent him to the Archbishop. When Juan Diego opened his cloak to reveal the out-of-season flowers, they found an image of the “Virgin of Guadalupe” on the tilma. Today, this image remains on display in Mexico City and is one of the most visited Marian pilgrimage sites.
The title of “Our Lady of Hope” comes after her visit to Pontmain, France during the Franco-Prussian War. The apparition was first seen in the sky by two boys but grew larger and more clear over time.
Mary told the witnesses to pray and assured them that God would answer them. That same evening, the advancing Prussian army changed course and did not take the nearest city. As always, Our Lady remains a constant reminder of hope, even in the midst of great trials.
Suggested Novena Start Date: N/A
Our Lady of Knock Novena In 1879, Our Lady appeared on a gable wall of a church in Knock, Ireland alongside Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist; none of the visitors said anything but remained on the wall for two hours. Fifteen villagers gave official testimony of the event.
A Basilica was built on the site of the apparition and has not only become a popular pilgrimage site, but also the spot of many miracles.
In 1858, the Blessed Mother appeared to Saint Bernadette in a grotto in Lourdes, France. She introduced herself as the Immaculate Conception and instructed Bernadette to a miraculous, healing spring. This spring remains a site of pilgrimage and grace, and people often turn to Our Lady of Lourdes for healing–both from physical and spiritual infirmities.
Suggested Start Date: February 2
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena In 1251, Saint Simon Stock, a Carmelite priest, saw a vision of Our Lady on Mount Carmel. In one arm she held the Christ Child and in the other arm, the brown scapular. She promised to bring to heaven all who wear this piece of cloth and faithfully follow Jesus. The Brown Scapular remains one of the most widespread devotions in the Catholic Church.
The Byzantine icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was displayed in Rome for more than 300 years before the church was destroyed by the French army. The Augustinians who took care of the church thankfully hid the image, saving it from destruction.
Over forty years later the image was uncovered, and Pope Pius IX called for it to be made available for public veneration once again. Devotion to this title, also called Our Lady of Prompt Succor, has spread to many cultures and is invoked around the world.
The original statue of Our Lady of Peace depicts Mary holding an olive branch and the Christ Child and was first given as a wedding gift. The family passed the statue down through the years and it eventually enshrined in the convent of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
As the Mother of the Prince of Peace, trust Mary to bring peace to your home, your life, and the world.
While visiting property in Pompeii, Blessed Bartolo Longo heard a supernatural voice tell him to spread devotion to the Rosary and that Our Lady promised this was the way to find salvation. This former Satanic priest became, as Pope John Paul II called him, the “Apostle of the Rosary,” remaining in Pompeii until his mission was complete.
The intercession of Our Lady of Pompeii has brought about many miracles.
Mary is often called “Our Lady of Sorrows” because of her intimate sharing in the sufferings of her Son.
Her heart, pierced with a sword, not only knows the pain of her children but also fearlessly and lovingly stands by them in their difficulties. Our Lady of Sorrows offers an image of a compassionate mother and desires to listen to your prayers.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
Sainthood and holiness are not unattainable in youth – quite the opposite! The Church has countless young people who reached sainthood, despite their young age, to prove it. We can ask these young saints to pray for us and be an example for us so we can grow in holiness and one day be in heaven too.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Bl. Pier Giorgio lived in the early 1900s in Italy. He had a genuine love for the poor and took care of them as much as he could. He was adventurous, outdoorsy, and loved God more than anything. He shows us what it looks like to truly live out your faith. Pier Giorgio died from polio at 24 years of age. Pier Giorgio is one step away from officially being declared a saint. He has inspired many young adult groups to grow in Christian community.
Bl. Imelda lived in the 1300s in Italy. She expressed a desire to receive Jesus in the Eucharist early and often, but was denied because she was considered too young. At the age of nine, she went to live in a Dominican convent. One evening after mass, Imelda was kneeling before the tabernacle; the nuns came back to find a consecrated Host floating above her head. The priest saw this and granted her communion. After receiving Jesus and praying, the nuns found her dead. She literally died of joy! Imelda was only 11 years old. She was young, but she had her heart set on Jesus and obediently persisted in her pursuit of him.
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (St. Gabriel Possenti)
St. Gabriel Possenti was a Passionist seminarian in Italy in the mid 1800s. His discernment to enter seminary was rocky, promising God multiple times he would enter but not following through; he eventually followed his call. Before he was able to be ordained a priest, he died of tuberculosis. He died holding an image of Our Lady of Sorrows, who he has a strong devotion to. He is the patron saint of students and seminarians.
Saint Therese was the youngest of her siblings. She lost her mother when she was only four and watched three of her older sisters enter religious life as she was growing up. She asked if she could enter the convent as well, but was denied because she was too young. When on a pilgrimage to see the Pope, she boldly said to Pope Leo XIII “Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you!…Holy Father, in honor of your jubilee, permit me to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen.” The Pope responded to her “Go, go, you will enter if God wills it.” She had to be carried away by the papal guards as she did not want to leave! Saint Therese was not deterred by her youth. She leaned into her littleness and became one of the greatest saints, even though she had a hidden life and died at the age of 24.
St. Agatha was an early Christian martyr. She made a vow of virginity when she was fifteen years old out of love for and dedication to God. A man with power wanted to marry Agatha, and when she refused, he had her arrested for being a Christian. She was imprisoned and suffered many horrific tortures, but she was courageous and held to her convictions. Even as she was undergoing much suffering, she was joyful and strong in her faith. St. Agatha is patron of sexual assault victims and breast cancer, among other things.
St. Dominic lived in the mid 1800s in Italy and was a student of St. John Bosco (who later wrote a biography on Savio). As a young boy, he lived virtuously, praying and helping his peers to do the same. Even in his youth, he would take on penances such as sleeping on a cold, uncomfortable bed, fasting, or wearing a hair shirt. He wanted to be a priest and was studying at the oratory when he became ill. He died at only fourteen years old after receiving confession, communion, and the anointing of the sick. He is a patron of altar servers and the falsely accused.
St. Maria Goretti is a modern day saint having died in 1902! She was born to a poor family in Italy where they lived and worked on another family’s farm. The son of the farmer who owned the farm made sexual advances toward Maria and each time she rebuked him. After a few months of this, Alessandro told her if she didn’t have sex with him, he would kill her. When she refused, he stabbed her fourteen times. She died in the hospital the next day; she was 11. Her last words were “I forgive Alessandro Serenelli…and I want him with me in heaven forever.” Alessandro repented and even attended her canonization.
Francisco and Jacinta were siblings living in Portugal in the early 1900s. They and their cousin Lucia were the children of the Our Lady of Fatima apparitions. The three children saw a vision of Our Lady who asked them to pray the rosary and offer sacrifices for sinners’ conversion. Mary appeared to the children several more times; Mary revealed to them that Francisco and Jacinta would join her in heaven soon. They both died of influenza. The siblings endured persecution for their insistence that Mary appeared. Pray the Novena to the Marto siblings for their holy intercession.
Little is known about St. Philomena’s life. In 1802, a young girl’s bones were discovered in the catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome. The tomb stated that she was likely a virgin and martyr.
Miraculous healings were happening at the site of her relics and soon she was declared a saint. She is the only saint canonized solely based upon her intercession pray the St. Philomena Novena for her powerful intercession,
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Saint Elizabeth had royal status as she was the daughter of the king of Hungary and then married a ruler as well. Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, Elizabeth gave bread and clothing to the poor and even built a hospital. When her husband died, she became a Third Order Franciscan and continued to serve the poor. She died at the age of 24. She is the patroness of bakers, beggars, charities, brides, and those who have lost children.
Saint Lucy was an early Christian martyr. She desired consecrated virginity, but her mother had already arranged a marriage. Lucy prayed at the tomb of Saint Agatha; her mother was cured of her illness and changed her mind about Lucy’s marriage. The man she was arranged to be married to, however, was angered by this change and turned Lucy in for being a Christian. Lucy was tortured and killed for her faith. She is the patron of blindness as she had her eyes gouged out.
Born to wealthy pagan parents in the late 200s, St. Catherine received a thorough education. When she was fourteen, she saw a vision of Mary and the child Jesus, which caused her to convert. She was a teenager when the emperor began persecuting Christians. She boldly went to him to persuade him to stop. He brought fifty philosophers to debate her, and many converted because of her testimony. She was then imprisoned and tortured before her death. Catherine showed great courage and bravery that we can be inspired by!
Pedro was born in the Philippines in the mid-1600s and began missionary work in Guam when he was only thirteen years old. Some criminals did not like what the missionaries were doing; Pedro and a priest Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores were lured somewhere under the pretense of baptizing a child, but they were ambushed and killed by criminals. Pedro lived and gave his life for Christ and offers us a strong example of how to live as a Christian.
There are so many young saints in the church we can come to know! Along with all those listed above, here are a few more saints to pray with:
Bl. Carlo Acutis, Bl. Antoinetta Meo! Bl. Chiara Badano, Saint Nunzio Sulprizio, Saint John Berchmans, Saint Teresa of the Andes, Saint Clelia Barbieri, Saint Germaine Cousin, Saint José Sánchez del Río, St. Tarcisius, and St. Kizito, St. Perpetua, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Joan of Arc, Saint Dymphna,Saint Stanislaus Kostka, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, and all the Holy Innocents. May they pray for us.
Novenas have been a popular devotion among Catholics for centuries. They are a powerful way to pray in your daily life – most of the prayers take just a few minutes a day.
Though many novenas include a recommended start date, you can choose to pray a novena whenever you would like or need.
Here are a few instances you might think to pray a novena:
In preparation for a sacrament, holiday, or special occasion
You can pray a Novena of Preparation in the nine days leading up to a major feast day, a holiday, an anniversary, or the reception of a sacrament like First Communion. These types of novenas can help you prepare–both mentally and spiritually–to more fully receive God’s grace on these joyful days.
For a loved one
Prayer is the best gift you can give your family, friends, and loved ones. You can offer a novena for a particular relationship in your life, for a loved one’s specific intention, or for someone you know who has passed. You could also include a novena in your gift of a spiritual bouquet.
As an act of devotion to a title of Jesus, Mary, or a specific saint
You can also pray a novena when you want to honor Jesus or Mary, or to show devotion to one of the saints. In this case, the novena is most often said in the nine days leading up to the saints’ feast day, but it doesn’t have to be – you can pray one at anytime.
Turning to God with our petitions is often much easier than turning to Him in thanksgiving. However, in the Gospel of Luke Jesus praised the one leper who returned to give thanks after he was healed. You can offer any novena as an act of thanksgiving but you can also offer this Novena of Gratitude.
February is the month dedicated to the Holy Family. During the next 28 days, the Church invites us to meditate on the perfect example of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and to seek to emulate them in our domestic church.
This novena offers a beautiful reflection on the Holy Family for you to pray with anytime during this month.
In 1858, Our Lady appeared to Saint Bernadette in Lourdes, France. She told Bernadette to dig in the mud near the apparition site, revealing a miraculous spring and later asked her to build a church at the grotto.
Today, millions of people around the world visit the shrine and bathe in the healing waters of Lourdes.
After a childhood in poverty and years of schooling, Saint Peter Damian became a Benedictine monk. As an Abbot he began five other monasteries and was eventually named the Cardinal-bishop of Ostia.
Peter Damian wrote on the duties of monks and priests, fought against the evils of simony, and faithfully assisted several popes to settle difficulties within the Church. The Church named him one of the Doctor of the Church for his contributions to the Body of Christ.
Saint Polycarp, a disciple of John the Apostle, played a significant role in the early Church and was just recently named a Doctor of the Church. He helped the faithful navigate disagreements in the early Church as well as combat heresies that began to emerge with Christ-like love and patience.
Saint Katherine Drexel became the second canonized American-born citizen. Katherine was born in Philadelphia, PA. After giving up her wealth to become a nun.
Katherine Drexel founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament that established schools and served Native American and black communities in need. She is the patron saint of racial justice and philanthropists.
Saints Perpetua and Felicity died together as martyrs for the faith during the persecution of Christians under Emperor Severus in Africa. Both women were mothers and faced their execution with peace and joy.
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